Distributional learning in college students with developmental language disorder

Jessica Hall, Amanda Owen Van Horne, Karla K. McGregor, Thomas Farmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined whether college students with developmental language disorder (DLD) could use distributional information in an artificial language to learn about grammatical category membership in a way similar to their typically developing (TD) peers. Method: Seventeen college students with DLD and 17 TD college students participated in this task. We used an artificial grammar in which certain combinations of words never occurred during training. At test, participants had to use knowledge of category membership to determine which combinations were allowable in the grammar, even though they had not been heard. Results: College students with DLD performed similarly to TD peers in distinguishing grammatical from ungrammatical combinations. Conclusion: Differences in ratings between grammatical and ungrammatical items in this task suggest that college students with DLD can form grammatical categories from novel input and more broadly use distributional information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3270-3283
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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